As Minnesota reached the grim milestone of more than 3,000 lives lost due to COVID-19, cities and towns across the state illuminated dozens of Minnesota landmarks in purple light to honor victims of COVID-19 and the front-line workers battling the pandemic.
Cities, towns, sports teams, museums, libraries, companies, and more joined in a solemn moment of unity across the state. The governor invited all locations that could to participate and use the hashtag “#MNtogether.”
“When times are tough, Minnesotans rise up by coming together,” Gov. Tim Walz said. “Communities across the state came together in a symbolic moment of unity to honor those we have lost and the workers who are on the front line of this battle.”
“COVID-19 has tragic consequences, regardless of your age or health,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said. “We honor our friends, relatives, and neighbors who have died from COVID-19, and in doing so, we must commit to looking out for one another. As the weather grows colder, we must take every precaution to keep our neighbors and loved ones safe and healthy through this long winter.”
Walz has also directed all flags at state and federal buildings in Minnesota to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday. He has directed flags to fly at half-staff on the 19th of every month through 2020 to remember, mourn, and honor lives lost due to COVID-19.
In Fergus Falls, Otto the Otter, City Hall and the Kirkbride Tower were illuminated.
“It was for those victims and also for those who are on the front lines to protect us,” said Fergus Falls Mayor Ben Schierer. “I got a call from St. Paul and I thought this is one small way to acknowledge the loss in the community. We’re starting to see some local effects. They were economic before but now we are starting to see the strain on the health care system and on the health care workers. The economic toll is real but so is psychological and physical. We need to support one another on multiple fronts and we can do that as a community if we come together.”
Scheirer credited Michael Burgraff from A Center for the Arts and Fergus Falls Public Works Director Guy Taylor with supplying the lights, filters and labor to make the local project work.
“If this pandemic has divided a lot of people we can’t let it divide us anymore,” Schierer said.
Minnesota cities and towns across the state came together to honor victims of COVID-19 and recognize front-line workers fighting the pandemic by illuminating landmarks across the state in purple. The following were lit purple at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
“Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture, Minneapolis.
Otto the Otter, Fergus Falls.
Aerial Lift Bridge, Duluth.
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis.
Mayo Clinic — Plummer Building, Rochester.
Hjemkomst Center, Moorhead.
Sanford Center City Arena, Bemidji.
Target Center, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minneapolis.
Giant Hockey Stick, Eveleth.
Mankato Public Safety Center, Mankato.
Split Rock Lighthouse, Silver Bay.
Como Park Conservatory, St. Paul.
U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota Vikings, Minneapolis.
City Hall, Fergus Falls.
Enger Tower, Duluth.
Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota Wild, St. Paul.
City Hall, Waseca.
Ceresota Building, Minneapolis.
Convention Center, Bemidji.
Allianz Field, Minnesota United, St. Paul.
Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center, Mankato.
George Latimer Library, Saint Paul.
Old Mill, Minneapolis.
Hennepin County Government Center, Minneapolis.
Mayo Civic Center, Rochester.
Internal lights at Mall of America, Bloomington.
Target Field, Minnesota Twins, Minneapolis.
Intergovernmental Center, Mankato.
Target Headquarters, Minneapolis.
Kirkbride Tower, Fergus Falls
Portland Ave. & S. Seventh St., Minneapolis.
City Hall, Rochester.
35W Bridge, Minneapolis.
RiverCentre Convention Center, St. Paul.
Lowry Bridge, Minneapolis.
(Some information provided by the state of Minnesota.)